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Obama Wants Broadband, Computers Part of Stimulus

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the that-would-stimulate-me dept.

Government 901

damn_registrars writes "President-elect Barack Obama announced in his radio address that his administration's economic stimulus package will include investing in computers and broadband for education. 'To help our children compete in a 21st century economy, we need to send them to 21st century schools.' He also said it is 'unacceptable' that the US ranks 15th in broadband adoption." No doubt with free spyware and internet filtering. You know... for the kids.

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901 comments

China (4, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034509)

Yeah, sure will provide a ton of jobs to the Chinese who manufacture these things.

Not that I believe investing in education is bad, but passing it off as an economic stimulus is disingenuous.

Re:China (5, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034681)

You can't pay money to Intel, AMD, ATI, Dell or Microsoft without buying some hardware to Asian manufacturers because this is their business model to have manufactures in Asia. In today's world, it is hard to stimulate one country's economy without stimulating another one. There are some fields where it is possible (construction, restaurants...) but most are tied to foreign manufacturers.

Note that if giving job to China is an issue, one could prefer Taiwanese makers. I believe the difference is more important than it seems : one is a democracy, the other is not.

Re:China (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26035285)

One is a country, the other is not.

Don't confuse the issue. (2, Insightful)

GNUChop (1310629) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034781)

The goal should be to give one computer to each and every student and have a free network full of free information. China is not an excuse to avoid that. The economics of the result will be tremendous and dwarf the pety costs involved. It will create greater cultural wealth for everyone, greater oportunities and greater ability to exploit those oportunities.

Such goals can only be achieved in freedom. Indiana shows that free software is cheaper [slashdot.org] and a free network is also required for knowledge to really flow. Napster showed that we can have any piece of culture available for the trivial cost of allowing people to share. Wikipedia and the internet archive show that people are ready, willing and able to create works and share them without the "protection" of copyright.

China Ohio (5, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035295)

Did you miss the (rather conspicuous) use of the word "broadband"? Our network infrastructure sucks quite badly, and if he's talking about upgrading it, that's a lot of domestic blue-collar jobs.

If POBE is really serious, he'll look at giving us real broadband, like the premises fibre that Korean consumers enjoy. If he does that, Corning will have to de-mothball a factory or two, and a lot of people will be needed to dig ditches and pull cable. Sounds pretty stimulating to me.

No doubt with free spyware and internet filtering. (4, Insightful)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034515)

Was that really necessary to get the story across?

Re:No doubt with free spyware and internet filteri (1)

Justin Hopewell (1260242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034603)

Well... you are on /. after all.

Re:No doubt with free spyware and internet filteri (1)

jmyers (208878) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034717)

I think its a good idea to bring it up. You can bet any company that gets a contract to provide these services will try to sneak it in. Make it an issue before they start rolling it out.

Re:No doubt with free spyware and internet filteri (4, Interesting)

anthonyclark (17109) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034735)

Well, despite being an Obama supporter (as am I), Taco is being pragmatic. Eric Holden could be his Attorney General, and he's all for net censorship. Plus this is the Democrats we're talking about; the old guard is salivating at the prospect of getting all their old nanny state legislation back on the plate.

Re:No doubt with free spyware and internet filteri (1)

D_Blackthorne (1412855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035023)

Was that really necessary to get the story across?

Probably not. I was thinking the same thing. What, did subby vote for McCain? :p

Re:No doubt with free spyware and internet filteri (4, Insightful)

MindlessAutomata (1282944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035165)

If this was a story about Bush no one would be complaining. But Messiah Obama, on the other hand... he's untouchable.

Re:No doubt with free spyware and internet filteri (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26035097)

I agree. Even if that was the case, who else would it be for if it's in schools? Chill out, Taco.

Nobama (1)

davidangel (1337281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034521)

sigh...

Size (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26034533)

Yeah, we're behind in broadband. But with the size of our country, it costs a lot more to build the infrastructure than most of the countries ahead of us.

Public transport (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034665)

This is the same argument folks in the US use to justify the lack of public transport.

The fact is that the US is 80% urban and suburban, so getting decent services to those folks (in both broadband and public transport) shouldn't be a problem. What is the problem, with internet connectivity anyway, is the deeply entrenched telecoms companies with their local monopolies.

Re:Public transport (2, Insightful)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034841)

What is the problem, with internet connectivity anyway, is the deeply entrenched telecoms companies with their local monopolies.

Agreed. The only thing that can break up their monopoly is for the local governments to permit competitors to lay competing parallel lines.

Re:Public transport (4, Insightful)

MrMarket (983874) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035119)

I would take it a step further and allow local governments to lay the lines. We have public highways and roads. Why can't we have public fiber? I'm sure they could have some type of usage tax structure where the ISPs rent the public fiber and re-sell it.

Re:Public transport (4, Insightful)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035223)

Why can't we have public fiber? I'm sure they could have some type of usage tax structure where the ISPs rent the public fiber and re-sell it.

So the public would be taxed to pay for the city to lay the fiber, and then the increased tax on ISPs would be passed on to the same public to pay for service? This is your plan?

I have a better plan. If a company comes along and wants to lay parallel lines. Let them. Don't stop them in any way. Don't fine them. Remove all possible hindrances, anything that could turn them away. It'll start out small and slowly expand at the same time that the demand for cheaper service drives prices down. More and more people will have better and better service.

Re:Size (3, Interesting)

pxlmusic (1147117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034715)

exactly. but i remember hearing a story in the late 90s about the guy who founded Qwest was heir to a railroad company or something. basically, he sold off all the land around the tracks except for a certain number of feet on either side of the tracks. the trains were then outfitted with something that would automatically lay fiber.

this could be total crap, but i don't know.

Re:Size (3, Interesting)

bdcrazy (817679) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035219)

Not sure about trains outfitted with automatic fiber laying machinery, but I know about specially made train cars that lay fiber. The nice thing about railroads and fiber is that at the turn of last century, railroads were giving large swaths of right of way for running tracks from town to town. So the railroads usually connect towns together, the same towns that are perhaps wanting digital connectivity. Also, many lines used to have multi track routes, and these have been reduced to reduce maintenane and then you have wide areas where you can lay fiber without much fear of running into many obstacles. This allows easier connections of towns by running cables along the railroad right of way.

re: Qwest (3, Interesting)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035221)

No, I believe you basically heard correctly. I remember that being one of Qwest's competitive advantages at the time they got started. When everyone else was stuck negotiating for rights to use other people's land to place their fiber cabling, Qwest could usually just use the "right of way" land along the sides of the train tracks instead.

I think in the end though, it didn't change much of anything for the "end user/customer". Eventually, the big telcos all found ways to get things cabled up where they wanted to cable them up. Qwest might have gotten it done for less money initially, but they all have similar costs of operation and pricing models today.

No. (5, Insightful)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034543)

It is a fallacy that you need computers in schools. Teach the kids reading, writing and math skills, the rest can come later. Computers are a drain on schools with already tight budgets. We went to moon with engineers and scientists who did not have computers.

Re:No. (4, Insightful)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034597)

Edit: We went to moon with engineers and scientists who did not have computers - when they were in school.

Re:No. (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034659)

They don't need paper and pens either, the engineers and architects that built the Empire State Building and the Hoover Dam used slates and chalk at school.

Actually you don't need slate and chalk either...

Re:No. (3, Funny)

HertzaHaeon (1164143) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035049)

Back in my day, we wrote on each other's naked backs with our bloody-stumped fingers. And we didn't have all your fancy letters either — we had to get by with three.

Re:No. (1)

KindMind (897865) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035145)

Were those three letters I, B, and M?

Re:No. (3, Funny)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035201)

We used to DREAM of having three letters. When I went to school, we only had one letter, and we only used that on exam days. Every other day, we drew pictures on the ceiling with our bloody toes, which we had to gnaw off ourselves.

Re:No. (1)

skiman1979 (725635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035247)

What did the architects of the Egyptian pyramids use?

I think bringing technology into schools is a good thing. You can still teach kids the basics (math, reading, writing, etc) on computers, and also plenty of new things as well.

Re:No. (4, Insightful)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034801)

Computers in schools have been a colossal waste of money. In the 'computer lab' you spend years upon years 'learning Word' and typing. In the classrooms, teachers don't know what to do with the systems so they sit there, the faculty to scared to touch them.

The school system is broken, throwing magical boxes at the problem won't fix it.

Re:No. (2, Insightful)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035013)

Do you know how hard it is to get any sort of job in an office without any typing skills? I'm not talking something that requires a degree, but something as simple as fetch-the-coffee-for-the-boss to write-an-email-to-reschedule-a-meeting. Typing is a valuable skill that will give you the option between an office job and digging ditches.

Maybe I was really friggin lucky growing up and going to school in Fairfax County, but we had a class on HTML. We had plenty of Pascal, BASIC, and C classes. As a matter of fact, knowing enough BASIC to program your mandatory TI-82 calculator for calculus class was a MUST. We used computers in Physics, Astronomy, hell, even Economics.

Don't hate because you didn't get the opportunity. Love the fact that our children will have it.

Re:No. (5, Insightful)

neokushan (932374) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035125)

That's not a problem with computers in schools, that's a problem with the teaching syllabus. All too often, the computer classes are just passed off onto general teachers who have, at most, some worthless Microsoft Certificate in Word 97.

If we taught them more about proper usage of computers, such as basic maintenance (defrag, virus scan, etc.), emails (And the dangers of random attachments), etc. we'd probably save billions on tech support costs just a few short years down the line. I dread to think how much money is wasted on trivial calls to the Tech support line that could have been avoided with some simple, basic knowledge such as this.

Re:No. (2, Interesting)

joggle (594025) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035141)

Depends on your profession. I was fortunate to attend a school that had a computer lab that allowed me to learn how to program on my own time (my family couldn't afford a computer at home at the time).

If you come from a poor family having computers at school is a real boon. I don't think studious kids should be punished by not being allowed access to computers due to the majority not using them for educational purposes.

I also don't think the school system is broken. There's nothing stopping kids from going to school and being productive except their own lack of discipline and work ethic.

Re:No. (2, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035229)

Computers in schools have been a colossal waste of money. In the 'computer lab' you spend years upon years 'learning Word' and typing.

In school, using computers I learned BASIC programming, Logo, the relation between frequency and musical notes, binary arithmetic, and quite a lot else -- and that's just 4th through 6th grade, in the 1980s, without the internet (or any other kind of net.) The problem's I've seen in recent years in schools with computers is that we've vastly expanded the number of computers in schools and the percentage of students that have access to them -- but eliminated most of the idea of a coherent, meaningful use of computers to teach anything, other than the use of computers as generic office tools.

Of course, the way public school teachers are compensated or treated, if they had the skills to do anything else, they could make four times as much money with much better non-financial working conditions outside of the schools, so I'm not really surprised; there are still some people out there doing better, but the number of people with both the skills and the willingness to suffer through the environment that school teachers have is small. More computers in more schools won't help without dealing with that issue, and more broadband penetration will only help a little (it'll help some of the places that are doing good in this respect do better).

that's the last thing I need (4, Funny)

netsavior (627338) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034545)

"To help our children compete in a 21st century economy"

It's bad enough that I have to compete with cheap "offshore" labor, now I gotta compete against someone willing to work for pokemon cards??

Re:that's the last thing I need (5, Funny)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035091)

I'd work for Pokemon cards. Apparently you haven't seen the exchange rate lately.

Great (4, Funny)

LilGuy (150110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034551)

It would be great if the local cable or phone company could run their lines just 1 block further from my nearest neighbor so I could get broadband.

Maybe Obama can make it happen!

Re:Great (5, Interesting)

Spazztastic (814296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034599)

It would be great if the local cable or phone company could run their lines just 1 block further from my nearest neighbor so I could get broadband.

Maybe Obama can make it happen!

Or Obama can help find where that 200 billion dollars went.

http://www.newnetworks.com/ShortSCANDALSummary.htm [newnetworks.com]

Re:Great (1)

KindMind (897865) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035183)

Yeah, exactly. The last time, the telcos took the money and ran. That seems to be the usual with the big gov't programs.

Re:Great (3, Interesting)

slyn (1111419) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035171)

I've always wondered if there was some way that consumers could "get back" at the telecoms for sucking so hard.

Can someone file a class action lawsuit or something along those lines for the telecoms failing to serve the taxpayer/consumer despite being given so much aid from the government? Maybe throw in some analogy of how the banks over-sold the consumers with loans which led to a real estate crash and how the telecoms are over-selling the consumers with bandwidth which could potentially lead to an infrastructure crash. Add in a last quip about how their lazyness is what is causing the whole discussion of all protocols/websites/whatevers being equal in the idea of net neutrality and how if they just did their jobs the way they were supposed to the first time.

Could solve all our problems in one fell swoop!

Let's hope they do what Inidana is doing instead. (0, Troll)

Erris (531066) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034553)

Who needs spyware or Winblows to give one computer to each and every student? [slashdot.org] Despite much industry apology, crapware is too expensive for real deployments. Free software is cheaper

Warning: Known sockpuppet/troll (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26034731)

User [slashdot.org] maintains 14 accounts [slashdot.org] used to shill and disrupt [slashdot.org] .

According to the article... (4, Informative)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034581)

He also wants to use broadband for health care facilities.

Since I know that most of you don't RTFA and the summary is lacking that point, I figured I'd point it out.

AC Wants First Post, Pr0n Part of Stimulus (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26034583)

OPEN WIDE, SLASHDOTTERS, OBAMA'S COMING

eom

Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like so 80s

Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like so 80s

Filter error: Don't use so many caps. It's like so 80s

obama cleared his throat (-1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034595)

and made a droopy monkey face, and continued, in staccato stammering

"is our childrens learning? is our childrens educatored? you know, heh, i will be the decider, until its 'mission accomplished'"

Re:obama cleared his throat (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034845)

1. You got the wrong guy, that's Bush Jr.
2. You forgot to post anon.
3. WE DON'T CARE ABOUT YOUR MOVIE!*

* In order of least-caring first:
1. It's Filipino (why should I care? reverse racism?)
2. in NYC (why does the location matter for such a film?
3. Low Budget (why on earth would you advertise that?)

Re:obama cleared his throat (1)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035205)

You replied to the wrong guy. I'm O('_')O_BUSH. You meant to send that reply to CTS (circletimessquare) who is a notorious troll here and on other sites.

GARBAGE (1)

avandesande (143899) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034605)

Computers are a huge distractions and in many cases reduce productivity.

Re:GARBAGE (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035003)

Computers are a huge distractions and in many cases reduce productivity.

It's reducing yours. Step away from the computer.

ummm why? (4, Insightful)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034609)

In grade school, we had a handful of Apple IIs (for AppleWorks, Oregeon Trail, Reader rabbit, and a few other educational titles). In high school, the library had a couple computers for the card catalog and CD-ROM encyclopedia, and there were a couple GW Basic/word processing rooms. So why do students need the internet for learning? Wikipedia is nice, but most schools are (rightfully) banning it. Instead of teaching math, should they just give out calculators and provide training for how to press the buttons on a McRegister? If people are graduating high school with a 6th grade level education, all the broadband in the world won't help them.

why? so humans can move forward. (4, Interesting)

netsavior (627338) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034979)

Instead of teaching math, should they just give out calculators and provide training for how to press the buttons on a McRegister?

No offense, but if you think that you can do Math on a calculator, your arguements for better education are kinda weakened. Calculators (yes even graphing ones) are a way to get around the tedium of simple arithmetic, a way to skip past the dark ages and get to the meat of critical, logical thinking.

I analyze water flow patterns as it relates to insurance risk for a living... a mathematical job to be sure. When calculating the trajectory of a projected river overflow, I grab my scientific calculator, and I think back in sympathy for my 4th grade self, who was tortured by moronic ciriculum focused on creating mindless times table memorization, which I could not do...

The main advantage humans have over other animals is that our history and our technology make it possible to learn in one lifetime what could not otherwise be possible in a hundred lifetimes. "Back to basics" is how humanity self-destructs. Give them a pile of computers, have them teach the teacher.

Re:ummm why? (1)

OutSourcingIsTreason (734571) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035127)

Think of the internet as part of the school library, except that the internet is many times the size of the Library of Congress, and kids can have the keys to that library 24 hours per day.

Re:ummm why? (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035253)

Why ban wikipedia? There is nothing wrong with it. I've been writing research papers for a friend the last few weeks using mostly Wikipedia + the sources linked from the pages to write the majority of them, and gotten A's on all of them so far while trashed. These are college papers for a history degree. The wealth of knowledge on wikipedia is great if you fact check / have an ounce of common sense which is all that's required to tell if they are fake or not.

Eh? (4, Funny)

Yunzil (181064) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034613)

No doubt with free spyware and internet filtering. You know... for the kids.

Slashdot: News For Nerds (That Can Never Be Happy About Anything)

Who's paying for all this? (1)

Tarmus (1410207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034627)

I thought he was going to keep our taxes low. Bring the troops home, like you said you would. THEN we'll talk about some big government spending.

Re:Who's paying for all this? (1)

davidangel (1337281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034733)

you thought he was telling the truth? For real?

Re:Who's paying for all this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26034755)

Dude,

We are going into a freaking depression. Supply side economics will not help us here so we need demand side policies. Stimulating the economy before we get into an intractable economic situation is nessisary, and spending is thus, nessisary.

We will be out of Iraq, he will lower the taxes on teh middle class, and he will let the tax cuts on teh rich expire, but he also needs to FIX problems, and that requires spending.

high contrast world view is bad for the thought process.

Re:Who's paying for all this? (1)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034771)

There are two ways out of a recession as large as what we are facing:
  1. We can have a World War.
  2. We cam have a massive Public Works program

Which would you prefer? To me, cost is not an issue. It will pay for itself in the long term by boosting our economy and keeping the recession shallow/eventually lifting us out of it.

Re:Who's paying for all this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26035069)

We are already in #1. Just ask Blackwater and chums how may trillions they're making from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, et al. Instead of given trillions to companies in bailouts as is vogue, send $20k to each person in the country. We'll be out of the recession within three weeks.

Re:Who's paying for all this? (1)

ormico (1226940) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035083)

Which are you refering to, The World War or the Public Works Program?(joke)

Re:Who's paying for all this? (2, Insightful)

Erwos (553607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035093)

Are you familiar with the term "false dichotomy"? Besides, using the obvious FDR comparison, the only way out of is war - the public works programs, contrary to what you read in your erroneous grade school textbooks, simply didn't work all that well in terms of recovery.

Instead, let's use the Japan comparison. In that case, we should do:
3. Let all these firms fail, take the hit quickly, and move on.

The Japanese did:
4. Never acknowledge you have a problem, let recession/stagnation go on for 10 years.

The "whys" of broadband (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034637)

I saw an interview on CSPAN this morning with a representative of the Entertainment Software Association. Aside from the predictable anti-piracy, DRM stuff one thing he was calling for surprised me--increased broadband deployment. But the more I thought about it, the more it makes sense. Deploying software via broadband instead of old-fashioned discs means that you not only have something theat's more piracy resistant, but also can't be resold (eliminating the secondary market completely, long the dream of the various entertainment industries).

So I'm a little wary of the true motivations of Obama's call here. After all, some of his biggest fundraisers were from the Hollywood studios. I would hate to see increased broadband merely serve as a precursor to the end of physical media sales, where to consumer no longer "owns" their movies/music/software.

21st Century Schools (1)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034641)

The only problem with this is that according to the OECD ratings on where the best 21st Century Schools are its mainly around Finland and Scandinavia, South Korea and Japan none of which leave education in the hands of back-water local folks who can dictate "no evolution" or its ilk.

Education isn't a federal problem and giving people laptops won't solve it. Unless Obama is planning on shifting to Federal control of education then this really is just lipstick on a pig. Broadband adoption is at least some way federally regulated via the FCC but throwing money at the Cable Cabal won't mean better competition an thus better value it will just mean better profits.

Fix the basics, then throw the money.

Re:21st Century Schools (2, Insightful)

Erwos (553607) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034969)

IMHO, it's teacher's unions. The complete resistance towards standardized measures of their members' expertise in _doing their jobs_ is appalling, to say the least. Combine that with exorbitant retirement benefits weighing down on school budgets, and it's no wonder the current public schools can't do their job.

Want to reform education in this country? Take back the schools from the unions, or at least provide vouchers for school choice and competition.

I also think we waste too much money on the lowest-performers and don't spend enough on the highest-performers, but that's a different problem.

Are filters in schools that bad? (5, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034651)

How many people here are truly opposed to some sort of filtering in computers in school? While the idea of some sort of imposed filter on my internet connection at home is very bothersome to me, I don't have a problem with attempts to keep inappropriate material off of computers in schools.

My biggest concern about it would be that generally the filtering systems aren't that hard to work around, so hopefully the school systems won't waste money buying into a really expensive product that ends up not working any better than a cheaper alternative.

Re:Are filters in schools that bad? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26035071)

yeah, train them to see filtering/suveillance/... as normal when they are young and can't completely think it out yet.

Re:Are filters in schools that bad? (4, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035301)

Kids aren't that dumb. They understand that school is a different environment from home.

Failure is the only possible result (0, Troll)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034655)

Hoover tried big spending to fix a recession. That recession became a depression. When will politicians learn that increased govt spending [jim.com] and employment [jim.com] do not stimulate production and advance the economy, but in fact have the opposite effect? They are sacrificing the future for the present (the next 4 years). This is a clear sign of political pragmatism: help those who complain the loudest now, without regard for anyone else. Those other people who will be harmed by increased govt. spending - employers who could have had more employees (now working for the govt), producing goods that could have existed (supplanted with unnecessary bridges to nowhere), bought with the additional money that could have been in the pockets of consumers (now taxed to pay for these jobs) - will be the ones complaining tomorrow.

Re:Failure is the only possible result (1, Interesting)

ValuJet (587148) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034873)

Your a idiot.

Hoover tried protectionism. Look up the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. It wasn't increased spending... it was protectionism and the dustbowl that made the Global recession so bad.

Re:Failure is the only possible result (2, Informative)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035135)

Hoover Dam, anyone? You may want to check out The Forgotten Man by Amity Shlaes. She lists in detail with quotes the big spending projects of Hoover and FDR meant to stimulate the economy, and the result these projects had on the economy.

The .com plan to fix the economy. (4, Insightful)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034661)

1. Take a bunch of money out of the economy.

2. Shuffle it though an inefficient bureaucracy .

3. Put what remains back into the economy.

4. ???

5. Economic recovery.

Re:The .com plan to fix the economy. (2, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034921)

>Shuffle it though an inefficient bureaucracy .

Wait, so AT&T and Comcast are efficient non-bureaucracies? Hahaha. Sounds like you've never worked for a big business.

Lets see, on top of all the handouts and monopolies they are granted they still cant build out capacity. In fact, the US is the world leader on filtering out and curbing torrent packets! So when the government FINALLY decides to move in and do something about it, we get more whining from slashdotters. Sigh.

Re:The .com plan to fix the economy. (5, Insightful)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034943)

  1. Take money out of the top of the economy where it just curculates around buying luxury yahts, private jets, etc.
  2. Put money in to the bottom of the economy where it buys things like houses, cars, TVs, and flows back up to the top
  3. Economic Recovery

As much as people like to bash "tax and spend liberals" the economy and stock market historically does better when one is in office.

Re:The .com plan to fix the economy. (3, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035043)

Right, because overweight, cigar smoking, filthy rich Republicans build yachts and fuel private jets.

It would be neat if your understanding of economics was less . . . cartoonish.

-Peter

Re:The .com plan to fix the economy. (1)

fredmosby (545378) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035233)

All that plan requires is a restructuring of the tax code, not an increase in government spending. Also, I'm a little unclear as to why changing what money gets spent on will increase overall employment.

Re:The .com plan to fix the economy. (1)

mattwarden (699984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035279)

1. Increase debt to foreign nations and/or print money out of thin air, devaluing the dollars saved by responsible Americans

2. Shuffle it though an inefficient bureaucracy .

3. Put what remains back into the economy.

4. ???

5. Economic recovery.

There, fixed that for you. There's no money for the government to take out. Remember, Obama is planning to cut taxes, which means the government has even less revenue than it does now (and we're already running large deficits). Less revenue, more spending. That's the formula for success, apparently.

School is a great way to waste time and money. (0, Troll)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034691)

If he just want's to throw it all away, I would suggest buying each American a sports car, at least then we could have fun while we're pissing away everything we have.

Public school never helped anybody. Am I the only one who noticed that? I guess Obama wouldn't know, since he never attended public school.

Re:School is a great way to waste time and money. (4, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035021)

To be honest, *private* school didn't help me. (I don't think I'm qualified to speak for everyone else who attended my school. I'm not that familiar with how the rest of their lives worked out for them.)

I attended a private school between 7th. grade and sophmore year of high school. Today, looking back, I can safely say those were 4 of the worst years of my life. The combination of faculty who insisted on running things in a fascist military style, while often doing a questionable job of teaching the material, plus the abundance of "spoiled, rich kids" did nothing for me. Switching to a public school, after MUCH begging and pleading to my parents, was the BEST move I made.

The school systems DO waste a lot of people's time and money. I just don't think it's always fair to single out "public schools" as the only problems. Private schools currently have the ability to make themselves look good "on paper" by refusing or kicking out anyone who doesn't help them keep an artificially good image. They also tend to hide behind their religious affiliations. (EG. "Come on now, Johnny. Your school can't be THAT bad! You're being taught by Catholic brothers!")

Re:School is a great way to waste time and money. (4, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035303)

Public school never helped anybody.

Growing up, I was greatly helped by the teachers in my public school. My third grade teacher for noticing how I aced the reading test and decided to give me the advanced reading test. I aced that one also. I credit her for putting me on a track where I enjoyed learning instead of being frustrated in school. It is quite possible that all of my success in life could be traced back to her in some form.

Since public school helped me, I guess your "never helped anybody" claim is false.

Just remember... (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034719)

... government dollars come with government strings attached.

internet filtering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26034727)

Why should it be a bad thing to filter internet for kids in schools?
You also don't hand them out some chemicals and then let them explore the possibilities on their own... their should be some guidance anyway.

Of course it should not be too restrictive, but I really don't see a reason why a 12 year old boy should be able to reach youporn in school...

Did you see Al Gore's latest commercial? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26034795)

Had a bunch of union guys putting insulation in a building to save the earth from climate crisis.

I love how pork stops becoming pork as soon as that money starts going to people who vote preferrentially for your party.

stimulate this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26034799)

my vote is to add automated handjob machines to the stimulus... because any package worth stimulating is worth stimulating right......

It doesn't work that way (5, Insightful)

crucini (98210) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034817)

I work with lots of good Chinese and Indian software engineers. Most never saw a computer before University. They did have a rigorous and old-fashioned education, with lots of math and logic.

I also know talented hackers who got into programming as kids/teenagers, and benefited from the fast dev cycle of Apples, TRS-80s, etc.

But giving kids the latest and greatest computers is not going to help anything. The important stuff can be learned on a 486.

Chinese and Indian schools value the academic achievers, while American schools value the funny, the athletic and the socially gifted. That is why those countries are beating us.

More Money? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26034821)

If I recall, schools in CA already consume roughly 40% of the state budget. Moreover, the drop out rate at LA Unified School District is 50%. By the way, the parents don't give a crap.

Spend more money? LMAO

The government is about to default.

Fixing the economy. (1)

staryc (852301) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034823)

I would have to say that it is a nice turn around to start stimulating the economy in terms of creating more jobs rather than just throwing money at everyone. Connecting more schools, libraries, and hospitals to the internet will surely create more jobs. How will net neutrality opponents factor into this? Will there be more protection if the government forges its way into connecting everyone?

He can get it without spending a dime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26034829)

One key problem is the so-called "last mile". For DSL, this is all owned by the TelCo's.

All Obama needs to do is to spin off the Central Offices, where all the lines come from. Make it so that ATT has to compete just the same as Speakeasy.net for CO space. That will level the playing field very quickly. Just like the days when everyone bought their own connection equipment (a modem) and hooked it up to the phone line, and called to their favorite ISP. That's what drove the widespread adoption of the Internet; it wasn't the big phone giants (who were opposed to it completely).

And he'd better do it soon, as the small ISP's are about to lose out on the legal right to have access to the Central Office's. This is why Speakeasy.net is starting to turn themselves into a real TelCo. This access is going to run out in the next couple of years, from what I've heard. After that, it's all ATT for the Central Offices.

Of course, if Obama had been against the Immunity deal for ATT last year, this might be a great bargaining point. But I have to wonder if he's now bought and paid for by the big TelCo's.

How about we decide for ourselves? (1)

oneTheory (1194569) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034897)

We have this thing called a brain. It helps us decide how to apply our resources (our time, money, etc) to what we value. Sometimes we're good at applying our resources and sometimes we aren't. Sometimes we are a little wasteful.

We have this thing called a government. It's notoriously wasteful when applying our resources. And it is more and more defining the things that we should value for us. How about we get to keep our money and decide what is good or not good for our own families?

Here's an idea (2, Insightful)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034905)

Use that money to give cash payouts to the teachers (not the schools) whose kids have the greatest degree of improvement in their region, with "improvement" defined as a conrete metric. Here in Baltimore, for example, the city has a graduation rate of approximately 40%, and our literacy rate is also very low. Stupid investments in "broadband" and "computers" won't help these kids, but highly incented teachers just might. The teachers' unions would never stand for it (in fact they'd label it discriminatory), but you need highly skilled, motivated people to reach these kids on a one-on-one basis. If cash can attract the best folks for the job, I say go for it. They've tried everything else here for decades, including paying the students themselves for good grades, and nothing has worked.

Re:Here's an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26035185)

Which is why unions aren't working. Just ask the US automakers*. We need to break them up IMO.

*Does this count as a car analogy??

Computers can help motivate High School students! (3, Interesting)

starglider29a (719559) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034951)

Have them log into Monster.com, et al, and see what the salaries are for various fields, including jobs for those with a "mere diploma", and they will become more interested in College Prep and getting good grades.

Re:Computers can help motivate High School student (1)

D Ninja (825055) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035265)

It might inspire some to continue education and work harder, but, quite honestly, most of the students won't even care. They will think (in typical human thought patterns), "I'm different. I *do* deserve to get paid more than all those other schmucks." Or, in a typical (irresponsible) pattern of your average high school student, they'll think, "Meh. It doesn't matter. I'll be fine. It always works out."

Either way, I don't think your idea will work as well as it would appear at first glance.

We Get What We Deserve (3, Insightful)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26034957)

So, we go from a guy who cuts taxes and then over-spends to a guy who won't cut taxes but still over-spends. Time will tell, but I have a feeling that Obama's spending will exceed Bush's, just as George "Smaller Government" Bush's exceeded Clinton's. I have a feeling Obama's will be roughly in proportion to the difference in their tax policies. I suppose this is an improvement. Kinda.

What will it take for the electorate to become too ashamed (or at least angry) to keep voting for these people? To paraphrase Penn Jillette, if we keep voting for the lesser of two evils and we're just going to keep getting evil.

-Peter

Why arent we just given everything? (2, Insightful)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035039)

A student's diet and sleeping habits are much more important than having a computer with broadband. Can we get a stimulus that promises a well-balanced diet and a Posturepedic bed for all??

Here we go (1)

bukowski01 (901465) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035085)

There is nothing in here that will help anyone. The failure has only begun.

Interstate High Speed Rail Network (5, Insightful)

sp3d2orbit (81173) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035149)

When Obama announced that he was going to start the largest public works program since the Interstate system, I thought he might be talking about an interstate high speed rail network.

Though, after looking through his proposal, I don't see anything about high speed trains. I think a train network would kill many birds with one stone:

- it would provide a fast alternative to flying, which I hate.
- it would cut down on carbon emissions since trains are much more efficient than cars or planes.
- it could do for the country what the interstate system did in the last half of the last century.
- it would create lots of jobs spread out across the country

Re:Interstate High Speed Rail Network (1)

Notquitecajun (1073646) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035287)

Wrong on the last one. Mass transit consolidates population, it doesn't spread it out. Not that I'm totally against the suggestion, mind you, good trains are a GREAT thing.

FCC Stranglehold (1)

sirroc (1157745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035159)

Until the FCC changes the definition of "broadband" to at the very least 100mbits; it won't matter how many billions we throw at the problem. By doing that; I can imagine you'd see companies like comcast rolling out DOCSIS 3.0 exponentially faster than they are doing now. Verizon as well would be forced to turn it up; or be forced to drop the all powerful "Broadband/High Speed Internet" from their marketing.

market intervention (1)

mattwarden (699984) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035203)

He also said it is "unacceptable" that the US ranks 15th in broadband adoption.

Why, because it hurts our ego? How come he isn't asking why we are 15th in broadband adoption? Is there an untapped market out there where the broadband companies are too stupid to realize the cost-benefit analysis says they should expand?

And where are we getting the money for this, again?

engagement (1)

bugi (8479) | more than 5 years ago | (#26035227)

The problem in US schools is engagement. Computers will not magically solve that.

That's engagement by both students and parents, BTW.

mod- do3n (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26035267)

would ta4e about 2 they want You to
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